I thank the Backbench Business Committee for granting this important debate. I also thank my hon. Friends the Members for Croydon South (Chris Philp), and for Congleton (Fiona Bruce), and David Linden for joining me to present the case to the Committee. I thank, too, the Minister for Europe and the Americas and the Foreign Secretary for their commitment to this issue—the Foreign Secretary has been much committed to this issue—and the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Truro for his efforts in carrying out the review of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s work to support persecuted Christians.
In the past year, 100,000 Christians will have been murdered because of their faith and 200 million will have been persecuted because of their faith. Some 2 billion people live in what is referred to as an endangered neighbourhood. That is the magnitude of this issue and why it is so important to have it before us in the House today.